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Mason McTavish scores in NHL debut as Ducks cool Jets

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Mason McTavish had a goal and an assist in his NHL debut, John Gibson made 33 saves and the Anaheim Ducks finished off a 4-1 victory over the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday in the season-opening game for both teams.

Kevin Shattenkirk, Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell added goals for the Ducks, whose positive start comes after a season in which they had the second-lowest points total in the NHL, 43. The Ducks killed off all five Jets power plays.

McTavish not only became the second-youngest Ducks player to make his debut at 18 years and 256 days, but he became the youngest to score a goal for Anaheim. He is the 14th player in NHL history to notch a multi-point game in his debut at 18 or younger.

Kyle Connor scored a goal for the Jets, whose season-opening challenge includes playing six of their first eight games away from home. Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck had 18 saves.

Shattenkirk gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead 6:11 into the season when he flipped a shot from along the right boards through traffic and past Hellebuyck.

McTavish, the No. 3 overall selection in this year’s draft, made it 2-0 at 13:20 of the opening period when he charged the net and scored off the rebound of a Hellebuyck save. McTavish was in the lineup after Max Jones was unavailable because of a non-COVID illness.

After Connor got the Jets within a goal at 2-1 just 3:48 into the second period, the Ducks regained their two-goal lead on their first power play of the season. McTavish kept a loose puck alive in the Jets’ zone and fed Cam Fowler, whose hard shot from the slot was redirected into the goal by Henrique. It was Henrique’s 400th career point.

Anaheim scored its second on the power play at 6:20 of the third period when Rakell netted a slight deflection of a Jamie Drysdale shot from the deep slot.

The Jets were playing without forward Mark Scheifele, who was serving the final game of a four-game suspension for a hit during last season’s playoffs.

–Field Level Media

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